By Rob Hughes
My first impulse was to offer excuses for publishing this review on Hellbound, because The Pineapple Thief don’t wield much in the way of menace or brutality. Even in terms of progressive rock (the genre they’re most associated with), they’re prog with a very small “p”. For jolts and thrills, go check out Behold… the Arctopus or somesuch. The only extreme things about The Pineapple Thief are their restraint and catchiness.
Straight up, Someone Here Is Missing is an excellent album that deserves to be heard by anyone conversant with Porcupine Tree, Radiohead, or Anathema. This is crisp modern rock with touches of heaviness and atmosphere that soars far beyond the dreary post-grunge junk that plagues rock radio these days. While the dynamics don’t fall far from the Porcupine Tree, The Pineapple Thief sound confident of who they are. I suppose they should; this is their eighth album. The melodies are assured and memorable, the songs are lean and whip smart. The album has a studio-bound vibe, with lots of processed sounds and techno garnish sprinkling the arrangements. The sound is so polished that I half expected The Pineapple Thief to be a one-man endeavour. Seeing credits listing four band members was a mild surprise. Vocalist/songwriter/guitarist Bruce Soord tackles mature subject matter (guilt over a crumbling relationship) in the earnest voice of a white-collar guy who’s working up to either a shooting spree or (more likely) stealing office supplies from work. He carries off these songs very well. “Wake Up the Dead” is undeniably Radioheaded. Guitars really throttle up on “Preparation For a Meltdown” and “Show a Little Love,” while the anthemic, bittersweet “3000 Days” simply soars. I prefer my prog a little more organic and gritty, but the strength of these songs, and their tasteful execution, is an irresistible combination.